Brassica napobrassica: Public Enemy Number One (rutabaga) wrote,
Brassica napobrassica: Public Enemy Number One

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2009 State of the Union

I sometimes put on the local government channel for background noise that I can completely ignore if I choose ... but on occasion, I'm rewarded for being the odd bird who actually watches it. Right now, I'm getting peeks of select Nashville residents' untamed lawns. Let me explain:

Do you know who owns the property at 122 23rd Avenue South?
[insert photograph of the house/offending lawn]
This is a violation of Metro Codes.
To report violators or provide information, call the Metropolitan Health Department at ###-####. Let's work together to stop this SHAMEFUL behavior!

Since when was not mowing your grass a shameful thing? Yes, it looks ugly, and yes, it attracts wildlife that MIGHT have rabies and MIGHT bite your perfect neighbors' annoying three-year-old kid ... but I don't think that gets filed under "shameful." Their efforts might be better directed at drawing people's attention to the big, nasty fine the Metro HD wants to dump on them. If someone's not maintaining their yard to even the smallest degree, chances are that they're already the object of scorn and hatred. Something like:

Hate that neighbor who won't mow his friggin' yard? Report his ass to the Metropolitan Health Department! We'll fine them, and you'll have the satisfaction of being the one who made the call.

Mmmmm ... that was meant to be more amusing. I guess I don't have it in me tonight. So, on to what this post is REALLY about.

I have a cold. I have a cold Evan gave me. Evan gave me the cold despite many pleas to not kiss me or otherwise "get in my face." Colds don't debilitate Evan like they do me. That's why he's at a friend's house in Clarksville and I'm bored at the apartment

I quit smoking. Smoking is supposed to depress your immune system. So, how in the hell did I catch a cold more easily and quickly than I would have as a smoker?

I now have premenstrual symptoms for a full three weeks out of a month. I shouldn't have to explain what's going on during the fourth week. At any rate, I'm getting no reprieve--there should be two weeks out of every month that I'm NOT suffering for a uterus I'm never going to use. This shit is getting really old, and I wouldn't be having issues like this if all were well in the reproductive viscera department (and no, I'm not preggers). Without health insurance, I suppose I should be lining up a trip to the good ol' Planned Parenthood.

Despite giving me the aforementioned cold, Evan is good.
Evan and I are also good. (At least in my opinion.)

My tenure as assistant director of Girls Raised In Tennessee Science ended on December 1, 2008. I have been unemployed since then, but I haven't really enjoyed my time off. In that time, I took the GRE, moved to Nashville, spent hours on grad school applications, sent my CV to a million CRM firms, and worked in the zooarch lab at MTSU ... yet I was spiraling into insanity because I didn't have a job. It's not like I sat on my ass for the entire month and a half, but I felt like a waste of space all the same.

The feelings of complete uselessness ended on Thursday, when Carmen from Weaver and Associates called me. Since they called/emailed me for years after spending a mere month on their 2004 project, I figured I'd drop them a CV and let them know that I was FINALLY available (i.e., not in school, not stuck in a crap job I hate). I'm now going to Dyersburg Monday morning. The project is only supposed to last three weeks, but I'm hoping they have more jobs come up and will need to keep me on. I don't like the idea of being away from Evan Monday through Friday for weeks on end, but I have to make and save some money for grad school. I also couldn't let him pay all our bills by himself (never mind that he did just that for nine months).

After three shootings in November just yards away from our Murfreesboro apartment, Evan and I decided to move to Hermitage. Besides, with the GRITS job over, and Evan's current job in Mount Juliet, there was no reason for us to continue living in my tiny, craptastic apartment across the street from campus. I guess the shootings just tipped us over the edge--we were already uber pissed off at the new University Terrace owners/management, who did nothing but raise rent and let the place go to shit.

Despite our political allegiance to socialism, Evan and I are NOT gun-hating leftist liberals. In fact, so concerned were we about personal safety in the worsening economic situation, we decided to get our carry permits. Actually, I shouldn't speak for him--I don't know specifically what his reasons were. The concern is mine alone. Any-fucking-way, when his parents invited us to take a handgun safety class with them, we both jumped at it. My dad was so excited, he gave me his Smith and Wesson .38 Special. With the class planned for the second weekend of December, he made a special trip to Murfreesboro to give me the gun, as well as to take Evan and me shooting.

You wouldn't know it by looking at him, but my dad is a gun nut. When he came, he brought his entire gun arsenal--which he totes around in a HUGE duffel bag. (This collection excluded all the shotguns and rifles he has.) Since I spent part of my childhood in a house with guns on the periphery, I've never been afraid to hold them or inspect them, but ... problem was, my firearm education and appreciation was cut short when my parents divorced. I had never shot anything more than a BB gun before. (No matter. I probably would have refused to shoot anything for half of my teenage years, so "hippie" was I ...)

Daddy didn't factor in my inexperience, nor did he consider that I, as a first-time shooter, might be unnerved by the very hot and very loud indoor range. I squeezed off five bullets before the tears came in. I didn't know what I was doing, I was wobbling all over the place, and I was sure I'd accidentally shoot someone--hell, I wasn't even hitting the target, which was a measly three yards away. Daddy seemed perplexed. Evan hugged me. Neither could figure out why I was crying.

I later equated the experience to driving a car for the first time--as in, I had my learner's permit and I was actually driving on the road with other cars around me. The knowledge that I was in control of something very powerful was terrifying, and it made me feel queasy and strung out on adrenaline. I didn't cry then because I was too excited about the prospect of having my license and being mobile. I decided the only way to get over my fear of the gun was to look forward to the day when I had my carry permit. Evan and I also got a BB gun so I could practice my aim ... and get familiar with using something that shoots small bits of metal into the air.

The day we took our class, I was excited. (I also had an audience of Evan, Evan's parents, and one of Evan's brothers, so I was going to be hella embarrassed if I chickened out AGAIN.) I knew we would be shooting that day, but I didn't realize that proving you could hit the damn target would be a major part of the carry permit test. Stupid me. But I think my aim was better the second time around because I DIDN'T know we were going to be tested on it. Really, my main goal was to avoid tears.

I did myself proud. Not only did I not cry, but I passed the shooting test with 92% (I missed four shots). Evan, of course, got a 100, but I was damn happy to get what I did--and only my second time shooting!

I've filled out my application for the carry permit, and today we drove to Greenbrier to have my fingerprints taken. I have to pass a background check (please ... I've passed an FBI background check), but it seems I'll have my permit in a few weeks.

OK, I should get some rest. I won't even promise to write more soon--I never keep that promise. Besides, it's not like people still read this thing.
Tags: evan, guns, illness, lawns, smoking, uterus, work
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